Nebraska

All posts tagged Nebraska

I’m surviving (?) Dronepocalyse 2020.

Published January 11, 2020 by ia84

If you don’t live smack dab in the middle of the United States, you may or may not be aware of our current mystery drone situation. It started shortly before Christmas in Colorado, and has progressively worked it’s way into Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming (they’re probably in other states too, but these are the three I currently know of). Every night people are reporting seeing very large drones, usually in groups (the drones, not the people), zipping through the skies, hovering over towns and farms. Honestly, the whole thing sounds like the paranoid ravings of someone who is on a really bad drug trip.

Up until this week, I’d shrugged off the reports, because as previously stated, it sounds crazy. At the beginning of the week, a friend of mine, who lives in the middle of the state, posted video to Facebook of a drone over her home. And since I know she’s not high, I realized there might be some credibility to the massive pile of drone sighting reports. Tuesday, another friend added me to a group on Facebook dedicated to sharing eyewitness accounts, theories, and humor. I would say 92% of the group is made up of genuinely curious, amused people. The remaining 8% are seriously paranoid and get mad when jokes are made because the situation is clearly not being approached with enough seriousness. By this point, I’m in two of these drone groups, and both have turned into a serious dumpster fire of insanity. I’m only staying because I’m equal parts amused and terrified by people’s response to the mystery.

The drones made it to Omaha on Wednesday. I got home from work, right at 2200 (10 pm) and as I was getting out of my car, I noticed lights in the sky rapidly headed my direction. I ran to the backyard to get a better view. Soon enough, something flying too low to be a plane and too quiet to be a helicopter passed by, almost immediately followed by another.

I couldn’t make out anything more than the lights on the bottom. Was way too dark to make out the size, but based on placement of lights, was definitely larger than a drone you’d buy off the shelf.

There was something a bit eerie about the whole thing. I’m used to planes flying overhead, and at least once a year Able-1 (the police helicopter) buzzes over my neighborhood. Those are explained things. I see and/or hear them, and I know what they are. Unlike those things, the drones genuinely are a mystery.

Why do they only fly at night? Why hasn’t anyone come forward and explained their presence? Why so many?

I’ve read a ton of theories at this point that range from plausible to completely ridiculous. Here are a few:

-They’re documenting wildlife migration patterns. I don’t really buy this because I’ve not seen a good explanation for why they’d only be out at night.

-They’re coming to take away all the guns. I don’t even understand how this would work. Maybe they’re scanning for guns? Another one that I’ve not seen a viable explanation for.

-They’re mapping the Ogallala Aquifer. I’m a bit intrigued by this. The drones have been spotted flying grid patterns and they’ve been flying over the aquifer, so I guess that’s possible. (For those who don’t know, the Ogallala Aquifer is a giant body of water under several states here in the middle of the country. Google it, it’s pretty interesting.)

-Tracking the weather patterns. Unless they’re getting sucked up in a tornado, I’m not sure what they’d be tracking that satellite and radar can’t. I’m not completely discounting this one, but I do feel it needs a better explanation.

-It’s the government/military. This, friends, is the most likely.

Personally, I think it’s the military doing training, learning to fly drones at night. So far, it’s the only theory I’ve heard that has a valid reason for them only being out at night.

Whatever the truth, I’ll be surprised if we ever get an actual answer to this mystery. I anticipate that soon the drones will disappear, and it will become a story that turns into an urban legend. It’ll get exaggerated, and in fifty years kids will be telling stories about the alien drone invasion that their grandparents fought off single handed with a fire truck full of Head and Shoulders. No matter what, it’s made for an interesting start to the year.

(And kudos to everyone who gets the Head and Shoulders reference.)

Whether the weather is hot, Whether the weather is cold, We’ll be together, whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not.

Published January 29, 2019 by ia84
close up of snowflakes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hello, Polar Vortex.

Something’s been bugging me today.  What is it about weather that makes us all so competitive?

What do I mean by competitive?  Try telling someone who lives at least one state north of you that it’s cold.  You will be met with a response along the lines of, “Really?  You think it’s cold?  Try walking to class when it’s -20.  Your sweat will literally freeze.  You have no idea just how cold, cold can be.”  Mention that the weather is miserably hot and you’ll get, “It’s not really that hot.  Right now, in Afghanistan, it’s 120 in the shade.”

I have lived all over the mid-west.  I’ve lived through tornadoes, blizzards, and 100% humidity.  I lived in North Dakota and walked to class in -20, and, yes, my sweat did freeze (it was super weird when I got inside and experienced the thaw of the sweat.  I know, I know, tmi.).  I lived in southern Illinois, and remember school getting cancelled for what, once I lived in Nebraska I learned, is considered a dusting of snow.  I lived in Kansas, and while everyone else spent the winter bundled up in heavy coats, I was perfectly comfortable in a hoodie (there was only one time that I agreed that it was downright freezing).  I live in Nebraska, and every year the weather gets even weirder.  Right now it’s -5 outside,  this coming Sunday it’s supposed to be 50, and a week from now they’re saying it’ll be 25 and snowing.

Personally, I prefer the cold to the heat.  You can always put on more clothes, and throw an extra blanket or two on the bed.  When it’s hot, you can only take off so much, and even then it’s still too hot.

I don’t know why weather brings out the competitive side of humans, but it always does.  It’s like we’re determined to prove that we’re the toughest because we’re surviving a particular weather condition.

The only thing I know for sure, is that it doesn’t matter if you live in Florida, North Dakota, or anywhere in between, once it rains or snows, everyone forgets how to drive.

We Went On An Adventure: Part 1~We Did Actually Leave Nebraska, I Promise

Published September 12, 2014 by ia84

I realized the other day that we’ve been home from our trip for almost two solid weeks, and I’ve yet to write about it.  Because it would be a ridiculously long blog entry to write about the entire weekend, I’ve decided to split it into many small entries.  Also, some of the pictures I’m including are ones I took with my phone, hence the really super-duper poor quality.  The ones I took with my actual camera are just a regular level of bad.

Back at the beginning of August, the boy mentioned to me that since we both had Labor Day weekend off, he thought we should go somewhere.  I was in agreement, because I greatly enjoy getting to travel.  Turned out, the biggest challenge was deciding which direction to head, but finally we agreed on Colorado.

So, when I got off of work on Friday (8/29), we headed west from Omaha.  Around midnight-1 a.m.-ish we rolled into Hastings and once we got to my grandma’s, we crashed for the night.

Saturday, we got up and continued our journey.  Our first stop was in North Platte, at a little tourist trap right off the interstate.

See, I’m not kidding!

If you’ve ever driven down I-80, or are from the North Platte area, the Trading Post is a familiar sight.

When I was growing up, every summer we’d come home to Nebraska for a visit, and getting to visit the fort was one of the highlights of the yearly trip.  Since I am big into nostalgia, and am also determined that the boy is going to be exposed to all the weird, wonderful things I know of, visiting the trading post was a no-brainer.

It’s a bit hard to describe this place to someone who’s never been there.  Basically, it’s a mini-museum with a giant gift shop.  There’s a big miniature display of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

It’s a bit hard to tell (thanks to my “wonderful” camera on my phone), but behind that glass are thousands of carved wooden figures that are all depicting the Wild West show.  Plus, it’s all on a motorized system, so every half hour you actually get to see everything move and there’s a bit of narration to explain what you’re seeing.  It’s pretty interesting.

Cowboy hats with attached tiaras are just a sampling of the awesomeness available in the store.

Once we had our fill of the Trading Post, we continued our journey west.  As we were leaving North Platte, the question arose of which direction we should head to get to Denver.  Now, for those who don’t know, there are three main ways to get to Colorado from Nebraska.  There’s dropping south into Kansas and heading west.  However, that’s a pretty boring drive.  The same can be said for option number two.  If you go west on I-80 through Nebraska, and go on I-76 into Colorado, about the only scenery you’ll see is construction.  Not terribly exciting.  We opted for option number 3.  Going west to Cheyenne and dropping south from there.

This really is a beautiful drive.

 

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These pictures are what happens when I’m not driving, and my camera has battery life.  For those who think that Nebraska is only flat and boring, these pictures serve to prove that thought process wrong.  I took these in the panhandle, as we were nearing the Nebraska/Wyoming border.  (The traffic cones and windshield bug splat prove we really were on a road trip!)

And now, I come to then end of part 1.  Up next…Cheyenne and really craptacular “Mexican” food.

We’re Going On An Adventure

Published August 29, 2014 by ia84

I should be sleeping right now, but I’m very VERY awake.  Tomorrow night after work (or rather, today after work, since as I write this it is technically tomorrow), the boy and I are headed out on an adventure.

To see the mountains.

Or possibly the smog.  (But not the Smaug…seriously, December can’t get here soon enough!)

It was pointed out to me tonight that I had forgotten how much smog there can be in Denver.  Having not been there in almost a decade, I don’t really know what to expect.

Having not lived there since I was four, finding our way around is going to be it’s own special adventure.

I’m so excited to get out of Omaha, to get out of Nebraska.

I’m also a little bit nervous.  I’m nervous about the boy meeting one of my very dearest friends.  It’s always a slightly nerve-wracking experience to have your friends meet your boyfriend.

It’ll be a quick trip, but I think it’ll be fun.  And crazy.  And awesome.

And I really need someone to reassure me that Casa Bonita is still just as much fun and just as magical now as it was when I was a kid.

He was a GREAT-Uncle

Published December 31, 2013 by ia84

Brain: You need to put on socks.

Me: Why?

Brain: Because you don’t want your feet to be cold and your toes to get frostbit.

Me:  Is it really that important?

Brain: Yes.  You have to wear shoes to work, and you need socks if you’re going to wear shoes.

Me: Oh.

Brain: Also, don’t forget your lunch.

Well, I remembered the socks and forgot my lunch.  1 out of 2 ain’t bad considering how today went.

My Uncle Mike passed away kind of suddenly this morning, shortly before I went to work.  We’re all still kind of in shock here, hence me actually questioning the wearing of socks.

Uncle Mike was a pretty amazing guy.  He was incredibly smart, and really seemed to love life.  He was my great-uncle, but he was almost like another grandpa to me.  He was very kind to me, and even as I got older he still showed that he cared about me.

When I was little I would get to see him once a year.  We would come home to Nebraska for two weeks during the summer, and he and Aunt Donna would usually kid-sit me one of the nights we were home.  I loved them and their home.  Uncle Mike had a vintage Pong machine that he would hook up for me so I could play.  It was my first encounter with a videogame console, and I was a bit hooked.

At the end of those visits, he would usually slip me a twenty, which-to a kid with no money-was a pretty big deal.

When I was in high school, we were visiting him one night, and he was talking about this foreign exchange student they had hosted years earlier, and how he had told the kid that if they ever got married, he would be at the wedding.  He then turned to me and promised me that when I got married he would be there.  It was funny, because I didn’t even think about it until today while I was at work.  It was so hard when Grampa died because I knew he would never get to attend my wedding (should that magical day ever happen), and now both Grampa and Uncle Mike won’t be there.

When I was in school training to be a vet tech, I was taking Pharmacology.  Uncle Mike was a pharmacist, and he ended up working for the State of Nebraska.  (I’m not sure what he did exactly, but I know that if you were a pharmacist who was not behaving properly, my uncle was the last person you wanted to see walk into your pharmacy).  Pharmo wasn’t an easy class for me, and most of the time I felt that if I had to memorize one more drug that had a name ending in “-myicin/micin” I was going to scream.  When I got through the class, and passed.  Uncle Mike told my Gramma (his sister) to tell me that not only was he proud of me, but also to remember that if something wasn’t hard, it wasn’t worth doing.  This is probably some of the most meaningful advice an adult has ever given me.

So, as 2013 closes, I say good-bye to my uncle, and wish you all a happy and safe New Year’s.

Dear Neighbors Downstairs

Published March 17, 2013 by ia84

Hi, it’s me.  We’ve met once.  You recently moved in, and you certainly seem nice.  I just have some questions…

Why are you opening and closing doors all night long?  How many times do you need to open and close your closet door at 2 a.m.?  Why are you even awake at 2 a.m.?  (For that matter, why am I awake at 2 a.m.?)  Are you awake?  Is this some sort of sleep-walking door opening/shutting thing you have?

Now, I realize that the one time we met, I told you that the walls are pretty thick, and we don’t hear much through them.  The last person who lived in your unit was a nice, quiet old lady.  The only time we heard a peep out of her was during Husker games.  This is Nebraska, so no much surprise there.  I don’t know if you took this all to mean that you could be super loud All. The. Time., or what.  I’m just confused as to how so much noise can emanate from down there.

Anyway, I hope that one day you’ll find what you’re looking for in your closet.

Love,

Your super tired, and possibly passive-aggressive upstairs neighbor

Catching Up

Published December 4, 2012 by ia84

Alrighty, I’ve been avoiding writing.  Which, I’ve come to realize, is super lazy on my part.  So, this post is going to read a bit like my Random Saturday Musings.

-My last post was my 100th post since I started writing this blog!  It kind of blows my mind that I’ve reached this many posts, and that people I’ve never met have actually read a majority of my posts.  I’m so fascinated by the way that the internet connects people all over the world.

-I’ve got 10 (more like 9, now) days left here in ND.  I really should probably start packing.  On the bright side, I didn’t bring that much with me, so I don’t have as much stuff to pack.  I’m also really struggling with the fact that I have to say “good-bye” to some incredibly amazing people.  I feel like I’ve spent most of my life saying “good-bye,” and it just doesn’t get any easier.

-I’ve been filling out quite the pile of job applications.  So far, I do have a few job possibilities.  I’ve had a few people wanting to set up interviews, but don’t want to wait the week and a half for me to get home to do the interview.  That’s a bit frustrating.  However, almost all of them have told me to give them a call when I get home; so, not a complete loss.

-I had an interesting realization yesterday.  I suddenly found that I don’t care what other people think about me.  It was an incredibly random realization.  I’ve spent my whole life trying to please everyone and be what everyone wants me to be.  That’s a very exhausting existence.  I also think that trying to keep everyone happy contributes a great deal to struggling to accept and love myself.  It’s nobody’s fault that I feel like this.  I just hate it when people aren’t happy, and I have single-handedly tried to make everything better for everybody.  I’ve known in my head for a long time that this is a pretty impossible task, but it’s only just now actually sinking in to my heart.  I’m still me, I’m just no longer going to base how I am on whether it makes other people happy.

-My NaNo novel turned into a real tragedy.  By 11 p.m. on 11/29 I had written a  little over 37,000 words.  My computer insisted it needed to do a restart, and so I made sure it was saved and backed up, and I let my computer do it’s thing.  When I opened up the file, I showed that I only had 22,269 words.  You know that scene in Little Women where Jo discovers that her novel is being thrown in the fire by Amy?  That’s exactly how I felt.  Thousands of words had disappeared.  People smarter than me with computers gave me advice on locating my missing words, but it was all to no avail.  Those words were just gone.  No explanation.  So, I didn’t make the 50,000 word goal.  I did, however, write a lot.  I wrote more than I’ve ever written in my entire life on one subject.  Plus, I have enough of my first draft left, I’ve been able to start work on my second draft.  I’m super excited about this novel, and I can’t wait to put it out there for the world to read!

-Exciting news on the weight loss front.  I weighed myself yesterday, and found that I’ve only got 119 lbs. to go!  This means that since I started sharing with ya’ll that I was working on losing, I’ve lost 14 lbs.  in 13 weeks.  I think that’s pretty great!  I can definitely tell that my clothes are fitting better.  I’m also not constantly feeling hungry (which is a new, unique experience).  I think this is mainly due to the diabetes meds, but I’m not complaining.

-I’m very excited to get back to working with the puppet team.  I’m super pumped, because we’ve been given the necessary items to be able to travel and do performances.  I can’t wait to see where we’re going to get to go and minister.

-Since this blog was initially conceived with the idea of keeping people at home up to date with my life here in ND, the blog’s mission is going to get tweaked a bit since I’m moving back to NE.  I’m definitely going to continue writing it, but I’m also going to share some of my photography (I love to pretend that I’m good and force my photos on anyone willing to look at them),  and I’m toying with the idea of doing some vlogs.